Since 1970, violist Louise Schulman has been widely recognized as one of New York's most dedicated, versatile, and gifted instrumentalists. She is a founding member of St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, performing on virtually all of the group's acclaimed concerts and recordings as co-principal violist.
Louise has a major affinity for early music, performing on a variety of stringed instruments including Baroque viola and violin, vielle, cittern, viola d'amore, and viols. Louise has also made her mark in the field of contemporary music. Since 1975, she has been on the performing and coaching staff of the Composers Conference at Wellesley College, performing and recording numerous chamber works by gifted young composers, and is now the staff representative on the conference’s board of directors. Her recording of Interviews for viola and piano by Eleanor Cory is on CRI records.
Louise gives frequent duo recitals with guitarist Bill Zito. Their CD, An Italian in Vienna: Duos by Mauro Giuliani has been released worldwide on the Sono Luminus label. Louise often performs solo recitals with piano, and as a concerto soloist. She also performs with the Strathmere Ensemble and Long Island Baroque Ensemble.
Her viola is by Zanetto da Montechiaro, ca. 1530.
Photo credit Paul Goode
Get to Know Louise
If you could meet any musician, past or present, who would you choose?
It would be difficult to choose between Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Handel, Haydn, Dvořák, Schubert, and Beethoven—but that is probably my order of preference. A few years ago I did have a very realistic dream in which I met Mozart. I still treasure that memory even though it was only a dream.
Where are we most likely to find you when you're not playing?
You might find me swimming at the JCC (Jewish Community Center).
What has been your most memorable experience with St. Luke’s?
Our first big orchestra concert was in 1980 at Caramoor Music Festival. It was an all-Brahms program and we had an 85-piece orchestra. Until that time, we had been playing chamber music and repertoire for small chamber orchestra. The conductor was Sir Alexander Gibson. It was such a thrill to hear the giant "us" for the first time!
When did you begin playing your instrument?
I was in 4th grade in public school in Levittown, Long Island. Our wonderful music teacher, Mr. Scalzetti, decided I was going to play the viola and I loved it from the start. Playing the harmony and the heartbeat of the music was just the best, and I loved the deep, vocal tone of the viola. I still do.